BOONE, N.C. (Christian Examiner) – Franklin Graham said former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani "has taken a lot of heat" for questioning whether President Obama loves America, and declined to weigh in on whether it was "true or not." But Graham said what he did know is "the president defends Islam and chastises Christians, rebukes our allies and befriends our enemies, and fully supports gay marriages and abortion but denies the religious freedoms of those who don't agree."
Graham, son of international evangelist Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as the international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, made his remarks in a Feb. 24 Facebook post
The day before, he commented on the Muslim terrorist group Al-Shabaab's call for attacks on malls in Europe and the United States, asking, "When will our president call them what they are—Islamic terrorists?" and calling on Christians to "pray for our police and security as they try to protect our lives."
Graham's social media commentary received more than 127,000 likes in less than half a day, with statements affirming Giuliani's "guts to say what the rest of us have thought" and expressing agreement "with both these men."
Even people halfway around the world added their views, with one Australian saying "I can not believe [Obama] is not standing up for you guys, and trying to protect America."
Graham has become increasingly critical of the president over the last several months as well as more vocal about the savagery of Islamic terrorists.
While he has not backed away from his challenges to President Obama, he has been careful to reach out to Muslims.
Speaking on the Sean Hannity show in January, Graham interrupted the interview to address "all the Muslims who may be watching this, who are confused and are afraid themselves."
"I want them to know that God loves them and that Jesus Christ died for their sins, and that Christ will forgive them and heal their hearts," he said.
"And they don't have to die in a jihad," Graham continued, looking straight into the camera. "They don't have to kill somebody else to please God. God loves them and He will accept them through faith in His son, Jesus Christ."
Hannity asked Graham about the Islamic faith, which Graham described as "not a religion of peace," adding that "there's nothing in its history that gives proof to peace."
"It's a very violent form of faith. But Sean, I want people to know, the Muslims to know, that in their heart, they can put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ."
Hannity offered his view that few people in the Middle East probably would take Graham up on his offer, but Graham offered calm assurance to viewers.
"I'm not asking them to go out openly and denounce Islam," Graham said. "I'm talking about they can do this quietly in their heart. Just say, 'God, I believe in you and I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins and I want to invite Him to come into my heart and I want His forgiveness and I want Him to transform my life.'
"But they don't have to go out and tell their Muslim family what they have done," Graham continued, "They'd be killed. They can do this quietly in their hearts and have that assurance, knowing their sins are forgiven and they can spend eternity in heaven and they don't have to die in some jihad to please God."
In his Feb. 24 Facebook post, Graham ended his observations with a troubling conclusion.
"Our nation is ridiculed abroad and morally crumbling within. We are in trouble," he continued. "We have turned our back on God."
Today, however, he was in a brighter mood.
"Happy Birthday Samaritan's Purse—45 years old today!" he wrote Feb. 25, reminding others the purpose of the organization "is to meet emergency needs in crisis areas around the world and to do that in the Name of Jesus Christ.
"In all that we do, whether here or abroad," he offered, "we want to make Christ known."